Fifth-Ranked Trinity Edges No. 8 Colby in NCAA Regional Final

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Colby ended the season for a third straight year in the NCAA Division III quarterfinal round after falling 7-5 to conference rival Trinity on Sunday.

The Mules end the season at 15-3 overall, the third straight year Colby has finished the year with 15 wins. Trinity improves to 19-1 overall and will take on Cortland State in an NCAA semifinal game at Montclair State University this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Middlebury College, a winner over defending champion Gettysburg College on Sunday, takes on Salisbury University in the first semifinal at 1:00 p.m.

Claire Donegan (Great Falls, Va.) ended a fine career for Colby with one goal, one assist, four caused turnovers, three draw controls, and two ground balls. The two-time All-NESCAC selection finished her career with 70 goals and 84 assists for 154 points. Donegan also had 110 ground balls, 104 draw controls, and 76 caused turnovers.

Donegan won the opening draw control and scored unassisted just 45 seconds into the game to give Colby a great start to the contest.

Trinity, though, won the next four draw controls and scored three goals during that time. Shea Kusiak tied the game at 1-1 with 26:32 left, Hadley Duncan gave the Bantams the lead for good at 2-1 with 21:32 to play, and Liz Bruno scored on a free-position goal with 20:19 to go.

Colby bounced back when Katie Griffin (Duxbury, Mass.) tallied off a pass from Kate Pistel (Amherst, Mass.) with 13:52 to intermission. The good news was Colby trailed just 3-2, but the bad news was Griffin's shot was only the Mules' second of the game.

Megan Leonhard scored two goals -- both assisted by Kaitlin Hildebrand -- in the final 11:16 of play to put Trinity up 5-2 at halftime. The Bantams had a 16-2 shot advantage and Colby goaltender Michelle Burt (Woodbridge, Conn.) kept her team in the game with seven saves.

Colby made it three shots and three goals when Lindsey McKenna (Fairfield, Conn.) scored just 2:57 into the second half. She reached 100 career points (88 goals, 12 assists) in two seasons. McKenna led the Mules in scoring for the second straight year with 45 goals and eight assists for 53 points.

The Mules had an excellent chance to cut the margin to 5-4 when Bruno picked up a yellow card with 25:05 left. Instead, the Bantams were able to kill off the two-minute infraction and Bruno picked up an assist just 19 seconds after re-entering the game on Hildebrand's goal to make it 6-3. Trinity had a 20-3 shot advantage at the time.

Trinity scored its final goal of the game with 12:54 to play on a score by Duncan.

Colby made it interesting when Alex Mintz (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) scored her 18th goal of the year from Sarah Lux (Manlius, N.Y.) with 8:31 to play to make it 7-4. Colby scored its fourth goal on just the fifth shot of the game.

Trinity blocked a free-position shot with about five minutes to play and Bantam keeper Olivia Whitney finally made her first and only save of the game just seconds later. The Mules, though, maintained possession and cut the lead to 7-5 when Donegan fed Sara Miller (Andover, Mass.) for a goal with 4:41 to play.

The Bantams won the draw control, but Donegan forced two straight caused turnovers only to watch the Mules turn the ball right back over to Trinity both times. The Bantams spent most of the final three minutes trying to take time off the clock.

Colby has gone 61-15 over the past four years, but five of the losses have been to Trinity. The Mules took a 10-7 regular season win over the Bantams in 2009, but have since lost five straight games. Four of the five losses have come by two goals or less.

Burt, an All-NESCAC goaltender, finished off a terrific season with 10 saves, one caused turnover, and one ground ball. She ended the year with a .556 save percentage and should remain in the top 10 for that category once the final NCAA statistics come out.


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